Setting New Year’s resolutions is a fun way to end this year and look ahead to the next.
It’s an opportunity for you to start fresh and make plans for ways you can have an even better year in the one to come. As a family caregiver, it is also a fantastic opportunity for you to evaluate your care efforts and make meaningful modifications to your care routine to ensure you are continuing to give your elderly parent the level of support and assistance they need.
Like all New Year’s Resolutions, the resolutions you make about your caregiver efforts are personal and should be individualized to your own experience, but some you may wish to consider can include:
-Finding more ways to spend quality time with your elderly parent. Often family caregivers find themselves spending the vast majority of their time and effort on fulfilling care needs for their senior rather than just enjoying being with them. This can put a strain on your relationship and diminish mental and emotional health for both of you. Resolving to spend more quality time together is a way it to improve your bond and experience more meaning in your care journey.
-Finding more ways to support Independence in your parent. A sense of autonomy and control over their own life is extremely important for all people, including elderly adults. Challenges and limitations can make it feel as though your parent is not able to manage their own needs, but this doesn’t mean they have to lose all sense of independence. Encouraging your parent to take on more of their own tasks, such as through the support of an elderly care provider, can boost their mental-emotional health and motivate them to take better care of themselves and enjoy a more fulfilling life.
-Finding more ways to encourage your senior to take control of their health. This can include helping them to eat a healthier diet, to stay more active, to be more compliant with the instructions from their doctor, and to live an overall healthier lifestyle.
-Finding more ways to incorporate your children into your care routine. Being a multi-generational caregiver offers an exceptional opportunity to spend quality time with both generations of the family and encourage closer bonds within the generations. Managing care tasks for both groups at the same time also maximizes your effort, energy, and time, allowing you to get more tasks done with better success.
Being a family caregiver does not mean having to take on all of the responsibilities and needs for your senior on your own.
In fact, it is very unlikely one person would be able to fulfill all of the needs for a senior and also manage other life needs such as taking care of children, managing a career, and taking care of themselves. Bringing elderly care into your care routine can allow you to focus your time and energy in the most efficient ways and know your parent is getting the care and support that is right for them. This enables them to be more active and independent, and still stay safe and healthy as they age in place.